If you were lost wandering the desert, sweating in the heat, stumbling through the sand, what would you prefer to come across, an oasis of water or an oasis of gold? Water, right? Except we ain’t in the desert at the moment, but about to fire up Gold Oasis from Pragmatic Play. Gold, or the online slot equivalent, is one of the things players will no doubt be after around here, and Gold Oasis provides some unusual ways of potentially going about collecting it.
Since one definition of an oasis is a watering hole, it makes sense Gold Oasis is set in the middle of a desert, and what a spot it is, too. A goldeny reddy, sun-washed spot dotted with palms, a rider on top of a camel, and, when peering at the left-hand side of the screen, what looks to be a skull-shaped entrance to a cave. Not sure what that’s all about, though free spins take place indoors, in a gold and treasure-filled space; maybe it’s the cave? All in all, a romantically presented slot that might not look like it from the outset, yet Gold Oasis hides a few unexpected tricks up its sleeve.
Gold Oasis is played utilizing a 5-reel, 3-row gaming grid with 243 ways to win. However, to win, matching symbols do not have to start from the leftmost side of the grid or be adjacent to each other. Just land matching symbols on at least 3 reels starting from anywhere, and you’ve got a win on your hands. Highly volatile (rated 5 out of 5), the game generates a return to player of 96.06%, and since it doesn’t say otherwise, it would seem this figure applies whether buying free spins or not. When picking a bet, the choices are 20 p/c to £/€240 per spin.
Spread across the reels and paytable are 11 regular pay symbols. From the lower side on up are 10 to A card ranks, then a gold jug and cup, a bag, then 4 character symbols. Values for hitting 5 matching royals are 0.75-1x the bet; the two miscellaneous times pay up to 1.5-2x the bet, while a 5 matching character symbol win pays 2.5 to 6 times the bet. Wild symbols do not appear in Gold Oasis.
Gold Oasis: Slot Features
Gold Oasis might not be the most cutting-edge slot on the market, but it’s by no means a standard cookie-cutter kind of game, either. As well as the unusual pay mechanic, players get a Symbol Duel feature, available in the base game and in free spins, plus two bonus buy options.
At random in the base game, the Symbol Duel feature may trigger. When it does, one of the paying symbols is randomly picked to replace all instances of 2 to 10 other paying symbols on the screen.
Gold keyhole scatters are present on reels 1, 3, and 5. Hitting 3 scatters awards 5 free spins and a payout of 2 times the bet. During free spins, all pay symbols pay as 5 of a kind for all winning combinations. Each scatter symbol that lands during the round is collected above the reels. For every 2 scatter symbols collected, a duel between 2 random pay symbols occurs. The symbol which wins the duel replaces all instances of the losing symbol on the reel strips for the remainder of the feature. A maximum of 10 duels can happen during a round of free spins. Each duel awards free spins, too. The first 5 duels award +2 free spins, while the next 5 duels award +1 free spin.
Buy Free Spins
Players may buy free spins from the base game. There are two options. One is 100x the bet to buy free spins where any symbol can win the duel. The other is 200x the bet for free spins, where the highest value symbol always wins the duel.
Gold Oasis: Slot Verdict
Gold Oasis was a game full of surprises, most of them good ones. At first, Gold Oasis looked like one of those typical ‘One Thousand and One Nights’ inspired games you often bump into when playing slots. However, a few spins, and a perusal of the pay table, returned a share of ‘what the heck?’ moments. First off, the ‘book of’ style non-adjacent pay system is something you don’t see every day and makes for a nice change. A bit like Rise of Giza since wins can start anywhere, but with the added benefit of reels not needing to be adjacent. On its own, it’s an interesting system, yet Gold Oasis’ other features also make a good match.
Both of them, really – symbol conversions via the Symbol Duels feature and the way all wins pay as 5 OAK in free spins. Naturally, the base game didn’t shine as bright as free spins, but you never know, a generous Symbol Duel might turn out all right. Add them up, and Gold Oasis has got a pretty darn good combo of extras with decent stats to match. The game’s max win is decent, too, topping out at 7,260 times the bet (due to a win cap), providing room for the features to possibly come together to create something exciting.
Gold Oasis turned out to be better than initially expected. The game refuses to operate in the usual way, particularly when it comes to creating wins, and has tagged on features that work well with this particular win system. Gold Oasis might not be tearing through the iGaming landscape flaunting outrageous avant-garde credentials which leave players scratching their heads wondering what’s up, but it’s out there being unorthodox all the same and worth a look for players in the mood for something that operates a bit differently.
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